Andorra Day 1 – Outbound

Wow what a day! It’s currently almost 9pm UK time (Andorra is one hour ahead) and I have been up since 2am and have not stopped!

I woke up half an hour before the alarm which was actually quite nice as I had time for a coffee before leaving for the airport. It was a nice quiet drive at that time in the morning and I arrived at the Meet & Greet at Stansted right on time, just after 4am.

Check in was busier than I expected but I was unable to check in online so I had to sit through it. Maybe that’s why it was busy if everybody else had the same issue. Anyway, the airport was all fine, and I had plenty of time before departure to relax.

I LOVED the flight! Well even before that actually. It’s been a few years since I’d been on a plane and I really love the bit where they put their foot down (or whatever the plane equivalent of that is called!) and whizz down the runway to take off! That feeling of taking off and just watching everything below zoom out just never gets old.

For me this was unique as it was such an early flight that it was still dark. Everything was lit up and it looked fantastic. I tried to take a photo but it just didn’t come out well through the window.

Watching the sunrise whilst floating above the clouds is something I have never experienced before. It was pretty awesome! I was just as enthralled as we descended and for the first time ever on a flight, I had no pain in my ears as we landed so that was a bonus.

The other end was so different to the UK. Stansted is so organised and glitzy, but Lleida-Alguaire in Spain was basically an outdoor warehouse with a toilet block and that was it!

Everything was so slow – getting through passport control took almost an hour, then once we got our baggage the transfer to the hotel was delayed because somebody else’s baggage had been lost.

The transfer was long but scenic. I found it quite fascinating to watch the scenery get more mountainous as we went deeper towards the Pyrenees.

I eventually got to the hotel at 3pm local time but of course there was a queue. By the time I got to my room I had just half an hour to take a quick video and unpack before I had to go attend the “snow brief” that Nielsen had put on.

I have booked myself in for something called ‘Husky Mushing’ on Tuesday afternoon which looks like a lot of fun! I hope I can get some video of that!

After that it was down to the hire shop to get board & boots, and as always… a queue lol. It was too bad actually. I started to get nervous just trying on the boots! But I’m trying not to think about that until tomorrow morning!

By the time that was all sorted and I’d got a locker key and stored the board for tomorrow it was almost 6pm and I wanted to visit the local supermarket to stock up on some booze!

The supermarket in El Tarter – it was pretty awesome!

One thing I love about just about every European country I have been to is that they always seem to have an amazing array of delicious looking liqueurs at crazy low prices. Andorra did not disappoint! Some branded stuff was expensive but the local stuff was so low it was unbelievable! I wish my brother was still alive – I’d have sent him a photo of the 5 litre bottle of Pastis (one of his favourite drinks) they did for under 10e!!

Anyway, I ended up with a creamy coffee liqueur, a non creamy hazelnut one (2e!!), a cheap (but nasty!) bottle of wine and some mint syrup which is something from my French childhood. I’ve had so little to drink all day that I have ended up just drinking the mint drink and not much else! But I have the rest of the week lol 🙂

The walk to the shop was challenging. It was much further on foot than it seemed in the coach and it was also downhill. Not too much trouble on the way there but on the way back it was all uphill and I had bags of drink to carry. It also started snowing heavily.

However, it was also gorgeous. The area of El Tarter is still lit up with Christmas lights and with all the snow twinkling in the lights it was like walking through a Christmas fairytale postcard! I arrived back at the hotel about 7.30 in need of a shower!

The shower was lovely! It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a nice shower as both the one at my Mums and the one in my old house were little more than soggy dribbles. So after a long leisurely shower I headed to dinner and indulged in 4 courses, oops! The food was pretty good, buffet style so no waiting around.

Eventually I got back to my room and finally had a chance to get my laptop switched on to write this but I am so tired and I just want some sleep!

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